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USA needs International Students

US needs International Students

Last week, a tiny but significant news popped in on our feed.

91springboard ties up with University of Arizona to provide virtual courses to Indian students

Co-working operator 91springboard on 18 July 2020 said the company has tied up with the University of Arizona to provide virtual courses to Indian students at its shared workspace centres.

The University of Arizona, USA, and 91springboard have partnered to provide undergraduate and graduate courses to students and working professionals, the company said in a statement.

Src: PTI

Trump’s anti-immigration policies and rash acts against international students have irked the student community. But think of the universities as well, their business relies on foreign students who come and pay much higher out-of-state tuition fee. Indian and Chinese students make up for a large part of the student community in USA.

So, if Trump is making it tough for international students to come to USA, universities are now stepping up to explore other options. This partnership by Arizona shows that they are looking for ways to continue woo’ing foreign students.

By offering virtual courses but partnering with physical co-working space can give a better than online-only experience to students. So, they are tapping into that market segment which was not going to USA.

Of course, it remains to be seen if such hybrid courses will prove better than what is already being offered online.

Students can choose from over 40 undergraduate (4 years) and 20 graduate (2 years) courses in engineering, computer technology, humanities, business management, and applied sciences, among others.

src: PTI

They are offering the most popular courses among international students. This way, they are also trying to expand their bases in college students – many of who can consider in-person MS later on.

Why are international students important to USA?

  1. They pay higher tuition fee, thereby subsidizing education for domestic students
  2. Almost 25% of the unicorn startups in USA have been founded by an immigrant student
  3. These students spend money on many other things, thus contributing to the economy

What does this mean for you?

If you are an international students, this is an encouraging news because it opens more options to you. You don’t have to worry about being in USA, travel bans etc. You are taking courses at lower price points.

What you should think about though is – are such courses going to devalue the degrees?

Our Analysis

This move can make education more widely available and affordable for a certain segment of international students. However, will it also negatively impact the MS in USA segment? Will it eat on the customer base who was likely to come to USA for their studies? Do they think the higher volume of students who can take such courses virtually from India will compensate for the lower revenues they can generate on such courses?

It definitely shows that the universities are getting desperate and are looking for options to keep the students interested.

In the end, success of any program is determined by its ROI. If and only if a course can help its students get placed in the industry in good roles, will it succeed. That is why Ivy Leagues had been commanding such fee because their degrees were seen as a pathway to successful jobs.

But all that can change. It is an interesting time indeed. The education industry is reinventing itself and we hope its for good.

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